A plaintiff files suit against several defendants in the District Court. One of the defendants move to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. While that Motion is pending, Plaintiff discovers that additional parties may be liable, amends the complaint to add those parties and defendants and demands a jury trial. Is the plaintiff required to respond to the pending Motion even though an amended complaint was filed demanding a jury trial to have the case transferred to the circuit court?
The filing of an amended complaint entirely supercedes and replaces the initial complaint. Gonzales v. Boas, 162 Md.App. 344 (2005). The initial complaint is "regarded as withdrawn or abandoned, and is no longer part of the complainant's averments against his adversary." Downs v. McCormick, 51 Md.App. 171, (1982).
Because the motion to dismiss was made against the initial complaint, and the initial complaint has been replaced and superceded by the amended complaint, the motion is moot. However, the defendant is free to file a new motion to dismiss against the amended complaint.
Civil litigation, especially when it may result in a jury trial, is a demanding (perhaps impossible) task for a lay person. I strongly recommend you engage counsel to ensure the preservation of your rights, and to maximize your recovery.
To be safe, you should file an opposition, if only to state that the motion is moot based upon your filing of the amended complaint. However, amending a complaint to add additional parties, which does not change the nature of the counts or allegations against the existing defendant, may not be sufficient to moot the motion to dismiss. There is a rule for amending a complaint, and another rule for merely adding additional parties. Also, after a defendant has filed their initial responsive pleading, an amended complaint requires permission of the court to file it. You need to file a motion to add party defendants and to file an amended complaint adding those defendants. You can attach the amended comaint to your motion and ask the court to accept it for filing. However, unless the court you are in has personal jurisdiction over the one defendant, you may lose that defendant.
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